Francisco Gaudencio Lope Belardo Mañalac is Bamboo Mañalac to his friends and colleagues in the Philippine entertainment industry. He was born on January 19, 1978, a Filipino performer, singer and artist who became popular when he started his singing career as the lead vocalist of Rivermaya but later went solo. He was a son of a political legend in Mindanao and comes from an influential Muslim family. He grew up with his mother staying mostly at their home in the northern part of the Philippines.
Back then, Rivermaya was conceptualized by Lizza Nakpil and Chito Rono, a film director under an original name “Xaga.” The line-up included on the bass, Nathan Azarcon, on keyboards and guitars, Rico Blanco and Perfecto de Castro respectively. Mark Escueta was in-charge of the drums. A little later, Bamboo became the lead vocalist. They were eventually managed by both Nakpil and Rono.
After quite some time, “ Xaga” disbanded and replaced by “Rivermaya,” with Bamboo as a front liner. They composed several songs “Ulan,” “214,” and “Awit ng Kabataan,” and recorded demos for submission to different recording companies. The big break came when Sony BMG agreed to these songs for release. They signed their first contract as recording artists. The rest is history. Two more albums were released entitled “Trip,” and “Atomic Bomb,” which includes the hit songs “Kisapmata,” “Himala,” “Panahon Na Naman,” “Hilo,” “Princess of Disguise,” “Hinahanap-hanap Kita,” “Elesi,” “Kung Ayaw Mo, Huwag Mo,” and “If.” When the band went to the US for a series of concert tours, Bamboo decided to stay in Los Angeles, where his family was residing.
Back home, Rivermaya had received several awards which included “Band Of the Year,” from MTV Pilipinas and NU Rock Awards. Bamboo was awarded as the “Vocalist of the Year” in the 2004 NU Rock Awards as well as “MTV style Awards” in the Rock Style category. Bamboo is famously recognized as the “Prince of Rock/King of Rock” of the Philippines.
It was in 2011 that the band was rumored to have disbanded and was later confirmed by DJ KC Montero in Wave 89.1. The reason however was not disclosed, and Bamboo released the official statement on the group’s website. He had formed a band of his own called ‘Bamboo,” but also disbanded. He then decided to go solo and on September 22, 2011, his first single was released entitled “Questions” and on November 20, 2011, his first debut album entitled ‘No Water, No Moon” was released to the market.
He says he is much happier now and more fulfilled as a person. Bamboo creates his own music, and is satisfied with the plans of ABS CBN management with his career. He is a regular in ASAP and performs in concerts now and then. Currently he is one of the coaches in the “Voice of the Philippines,” with Sarah Geronimo, Leah Salonga and Apl de Ap. Bamboo had finally found peace in himself, in his family, his wife Cecil and his two children, Isabelle and Lucius.